It is safe to say that the ladies 1st XI team have had a very rewarding season this year. This was initiated by an advantageous preseason, ending in an incredibly convincing win over Southampton 1st XI along with an inspirational performance in a three-way tournament against Oxford and Reading’s 1’s XI.
Unfortunately, there where a couple of rough league losses leading up to Christmas. Although this was resurrected with an 11 match unbeaten streak, whereby the girls showed an unbelievable ability to not let losses get them down. When the team got behind by a goal within a match, it was amazing how they would not let this affect them. Multiple times the team showed maturity and skill while they raked back a loss to change it into a convincing win.
This teamwork was rewarded when the team made a name for themselves by becoming the first ever Oxford Brookes sports team to make it to the Big Bucs Wednesday cup final. As you can imagine, this was incredibly exciting, nearly as much so as the road to get there. The semi-final was to be held in Dundee, a 10-hour bus journey away from Oxford. It is safe to say that the semi-final was no easy task, Dundee proved to be a very worthy opponent and at half time they were up by two goals. However as usual Brookes didn’t let this phase them and they brought it back to 3-3 by the final whistle. This then meant that penalty flicks would decide the win. 5 girls stepped up to the challenge and not one of them failed to score, meaning with one miss by Dundee, Brookes where heading to the Big Bucs Wednesday final.
Quote of the year, made by our Director of sport ‘blimey girls if every one of your matches are that exiting I might come and watch you every week!’
The cup final was an amazing experience but unfortunately Brookes didn’t come home with the gold. However, a lot was learnt from that day, and the team as well as the university came home with a sense of pride regardless of the result.
Following this the team had also made it to playoffs with the chance to regain their place in the Premier league. Two matches against Cardiff Met where played and with one draw and one loss unfortunately promotion was not made. However, it is openly believed that the success of the team had a lot to do with the closeness of the team and therefore the following year is upon us with such ambition that the girls performing together within the 1st XI can expect another very successful and enjoyable year of hockey.